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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Associations: Economy: Germany must become faster and better

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After more than a year of the traffic light coalition, leading business organizations have clear expectations: the brakes have to be released.

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Business associations see a great need for reform in Germany. “We have to get faster, we have to get better,” said Employer President Rainer Dulger of the German Press Agency: “We are over-regulated, we are too slow. We are giants of knowledge, but dwarfs in action. That is our problem at the moment. We have to be determined answer it.”

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Approval processes must be accelerated, the economy needs a bureaucracy brake and no new burdens. From the point of view of Industry President Siegfried Russwurm, Germany must “get out of crisis mode and into creative mode”.

According to Dirk Jandura, President of the Federal Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), Germany must “become more modern, more digital, more flexible and faster – in day-to-day work, in infrastructure and also in the implementation of investment projects.” The government is currently displaying a relatively high degree of obsession with regulation, and reducing bureaucracy must be a priority.

Deregulation warning

According to DGB boss Yasmin Fahimi, she says she has “nothing at all against reducing bureaucracy”, where it creates relief: “But that must not open the door to general deregulation. If you, as an entrepreneur, want fewer legal requirements and regulations, then it’s best , to take responsibility for ensuring that they don’t become necessary in the first place.”

From Dulger’s point of view, the situation is similar to that in football: “The expectations are huge when the German team goes onto the pitch. But what is delivered is not enough.” There are challenges that are comparable to reunification. “Back then, however, there was a comprehensive reform process with a clear direction.” Today the situation is much more unstructured. “We have a clear skew in the discussion. It’s too much about how money is distributed. And too little about what we actually want to live on. The answers from politicians are not enough. We need a new Agenda Germany 5.0.”

Delivered what is not smoked

The federal government must keep its promise and release the brakes on the economy. The President of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations criticized that the promised moratorium on stress is largely not taking place. “Exactly the opposite of what we actually need is being delivered.” Because the baby boomers will retire from 2025, according to Dulger, there will be a loss of prosperity. “Without immigration and without a rising employment rate, we will fall behind in the competition for prosperity.” As a result, contributions and taxes were also lost. “And the demographics are non-negotiable. That will happen if we don’t take countermeasures.”

The General Secretary of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, Holger Schwannecke, called for social systems not only to be thought about, but to be acted upon. “The financing of the social systems is currently primarily linked to the work factor.” This puts a particular strain on craft businesses in view of the fact that personnel costs sometimes account for up to 80 percent. That will certainly be a difficult socio-political discussion, said Schwannecke. In the end, however, generational justice and future security of these systems must be guaranteed, companies must have room to breathe and employees must have more net from the gross.

For Russwurm, it is about a manageable plan for the future, especially the decarbonization of the economy. He stands for the expansion of renewable energies, said the President of the Federation of German Industries: “But we are not making any progress with the power lines. We are not making any progress with the backup power plants. There is no significant electricity storage.” If the traffic light wants to be a real coalition of progress, it must immediately introduce reforms, especially for investments and innovations – for example in the future energy industry and thus for climate protection. Germany needs the “implementation turbo” to achieve the climate goals of 2030 and 2045.

Source: Stern

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